The Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee will be meeting this afternoon from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. This committee has been totally useless and ineffective for the past four years. That's a fact. I defy anyone to name a single positive that has come out of this committee in four years. It has been chaired by Director Martin-Morris all that time.
The Committee utterly fails to do its work - items are forwarded to the Board for a vote without any kind of discussion, vetting, or proper review, it performs absolutely no oversight of teaching and learning staff, it doesn't enforce any policies or investigate policy violations, and it has proven incapable of advancing any ideas. Again, this is a fact. Here are the supporting details:
Failure to properly review motions
This is the committee that purportedly reviewed the NTN contract.
This is the committee that failed to review the CSIPs - they didn't even review the annual approval of schools motion; it went to the full board without review.
This is the committee that reviewed the discontinuation of the 2.0 GPA graduation requirement.
This is the committee that reviewed the contract with NWEA for the MAP test and never noticed the superintendent's conflict of interest.
This is the committee that somehow reviewed the Highly Capable grant application without ever seeing the application.
This committee has never even asked about the community engagement done on a motion, let alone rejected a motion for lack of community input.
I defy anyone to name any motions that got a meaningful review in this committee.
Failure to oversee
This is the committee that oversaw the Southeast Education Initiative.
This is the committee that oversaw the proliferation of coaches.
This is the committee that oversaw the errors in the school reports and the district scorecard.
This is the committee that oversees the curricular alignment project and the way it has steamrolled biotech at Ballard, the literature classes at Roosevelt, marine biology at Garfield, and AP European History.
This is the committee that oversees the selection of materials.
This is the committee that oversees the absence of academic interventions.
This is the committee that should have demanded the review of policy D15.00 that was ordered by the Board on January 29, 2009.
This is the committee that should have demanded the implementation of the written APP curriculum concurrent with the split as promised by the district staff.
This is the committee that should have demanded the fulfillment of all of the other promises made to communities at the time of the school closures.
I defy anyone to name any oversight action taken by this committee.
Failure to enforce policy
This is the committee that failed to enforce the promotion/non-promotion policy.
This is the committee that failed to enforce the program placement policy.
This is the committee that failed to enforce the Highly Capable policy.
I defy anyone to name any policy enforced by this committee.
Failure to advance ideas
This is the committee that delayed high school credit for classes taken in middle school for a year.
This is the committee that has proven incapable of developing a waiver process.
This is the committee that has proven incapable of putting any meaning into "earned autonomy".
This is the committee where ideas go to die.
I defy anyone to name any ideas launched in this committee.
This month's meeting
This month, the Curriculum and Instruction Policy committee will allow a number of critical items to slip through their fingers. That's a prediction based on past performance and a knowledge of the individuals at work.
They will utterly fail to ask any meaningful questions about MAP and the renewal of the contract with NWEA. In fact, they have only scheduled ten minutes for discussion of the contract. Some serious discussion of why we use MAP and how we use MAP is needed, but it won't happen here.
They will spend twenty minutes nattering about waivers. Do not expect any results from their meandering discussion. Director Martin-Morris will speak in the most general and abstract terms. Dr. Cathy Thompson will hold the hard line on material standardization. No action will be advanced. We need someone to write the procedure for waivers, but that won't get started in this committee. They have been talking about waivers for years without any clear, concrete procedure visible on the horizon.
Board Policies C and D.
Although more time has been alloted to this discussion item than any other (an hour and twenty minutes), do not expect any meaningful discussion. This committee was supposed to have been reviewing and revising these policies for the past two years. They haven't done diddly. In fact, according to the policy revision calendar written a year ago, they should be done with the policy revisions by now. They haven't even started.
The policies in the C section include:
Additions to Catalog of Secondary School Subjects (what classes high schools can offer), Homework policy (recently gelded), High School Graduation Requirements (different at every school), Competency/Proficiency Based Credit (an exceptionally bad idea), Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials (Discovery Math, anyone?), Assessment Program (standardized testing), Policy and Program Evaluation (routinely violated policy), School Effectiveness Measures and Review (as if we were doing that), Proposal for a New Program (curious about that one?), Transitional Bilingual Education, Career and Technical Education Policy, Alternative Education Policy, Program Development and Placement (routinely violated policy), Online Learning, Special Education, and Staff Training (coaches).
The D section of the policy book includes:
School Attendance, Student Assignment, Residency Verification, Non Standard School Assignments, Highly Capable Student Programs (oddly, not a part of section C along with alternative, bilingual, and special ed), High School Grade and Credit Marking Policy, Use of Directory Information (the Our Schools Coalition violated this one), High School Guidance and Counseling (a policy without people), Attendance Policy, Promotion/Retention (revised to be pointless), Equal Opportunity for Students, Student Complaint, Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying, Sexual Harassment, Anti-Retaliation Policy (good luck using this one), Alternatives to Military Recruitment - Equal Access (a hot issue for some folks), Student Discipline, School-Police Relations (when they call the cops), Student Fees & Charges (Pay for K, Pay for Play, lab fees, and more), Child Abuse Reporting (when is it mandatory and to whom must staff report), Removal of Student from School Grounds by Non-School Personnel (cops), Student Clubs (GSA might want to check this one, bible clubs too), Solicitations by Students (selling gift wrap has to be better for the schools than the gift wrap company), District Fundraising Policy (has surprisingly little to say).
Finally, the committee will seek Future Agenda Items from the committee members. Any such suggestions will be added to the long list of future agenca items already in the committee's parking lot.